Hassan II of Morocco

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Hassan II
الْحسْنُ الثاني الْعَلَوِيَّ
Amir al-Mu'minin
King Hassan II.jpg
Hassan II in 1981
King of Morocco
Reign26 February 1961 – 23 July 1999
Predecessor Mohammed V
Successor Mohammed VI
Prime Ministers
Born(1929-07-09)9 July 1929
Rabat, Morocco
Died23 July 1999(1999-07-23) (aged 70)
Rabat, Morocco
Burial
Royal Mausoleum,
Rabat, Morocco
SpousePrincess Lalla Fatima
Princess Lalla Latifa
Issue
Dynasty Alaouite
Father Mohammed V
Mother Lalla Abla bint Tahar
Religion Sunni Islam

King Hassan II (Arabic : الْحسْنُ الثاني بْن مُحَمَّدُ بْن يوسف بْن الْحسْنِ بْن الشَّرِيفِ بْن عَلِيُّ الْعَلَوِيِّ [1] , MSA: (a)l-ḥasan aṯ-ṯānī, Maghrebi Arabic: el-ḥasan ett(s)âni; 9 July 1929 – 23 July 1999) was King of Morocco from 1961 until his death in 1999. He is descended from the Alaouite dynasty. He was the eldest son of Mohammed V, Sultan, then King of Morocco (1909–1961), and his second wife, Lalla Abla bint Tahar (1909–1992). Hassan was known to be one of the most severe rulers of Morocco, widely accused of authoritarian practices and of being an autocrat and a dictator, particularly during the Years of Lead. [2]

Modern Standard Arabic The standardized and literary variety of Arabic used in writing and in most formal speech


Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), or Modern Written Arabic, is a term used mostly by Western linguists to refer to the variety of standardized, literary Arabic that developed in the Arab world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Maghrebi Arabic language

Maghrebi Arabic is an Arabic dialect continuum spoken in the Maghreb region, in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Western Sahara, and Mauritania. It includes Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian, Libyan, and Hassaniya Arabic. Speakers of Maghrebi Arabic are primarily Arab-Berbers who call their language Derdja, Derja, Derija or Darija. This serves to differentiate the spoken vernacular from Modern Standard Arabic. As the Maltese language is believed to have been immediately derived from Siculo-Arabic and ultimately from Tunisian Arabic, it contains some typical Maghrebi Arabic areal characteristics.

A monarch is a sovereign head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Typically a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may become monarch by conquest, acclamation or a combination of means. A monarch usually reigns for life or until abdication.

Contents

Biography

Youth and education

Prince Hassan at 13 years old, third from left in back row, photographed behind Sultan Muhammad V, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Casablanca Conference of 1943. Lot 11568-2 (24632562862).jpg
Prince Hassan at 13 years old, third from left in back row, photographed behind Sultan Muhammad V, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during the Casablanca Conference of 1943.

Hassan was educated at the Royal Academy in Rabat, where a class created for him was instructed by a faculty including Mehdi Ben Barka. [3] Hassan then earned a law degree from the University of Bordeaux.

The Royal Academy is an education establishment located inside the royal palace in Rabat. Since its foundation in 1942 during the French Protectorate, it has specialized in the education of princes and princesses of the Alaouite dynasty.

Rabat City in Rabat-Salé-Kénitra, Morocco

Rabat is the capital city of Morocco and the country's seventh largest city with an urban population of approximately 580,000 (2014) and a metropolitan population of over 1.2 million. It is also the capital city of the Rabat-Salé-Kénitra administrative region. Rabat is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg, opposite Salé, the city's main commuter town.

Mehdi Ben Barka Moroccan politician (UNFP)

Mehdi Ben Barka was a Moroccan politician, head of the left-wing National Union of Popular Forces (UNPF) and secretary of the Tricontinental Conference. An opponent of French Imperialism and King Hassan II, he "disappeared" in Paris in 1965. Many theories attempting to explain what happened to him were put forward over the years; but it was not until 2018 that details of his disappearance were established by Israeli journalist and author Ronen Bergman in his book Rise And Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations. Based on research and interviews with Israeli intelligence operatives involved in planning the kidnapping of Barka, Bergman concluded that he was murdered by Moroccan agents and French police, who ended up disposing of his body.

He was exiled to Corsica by French authorities on 20 August 1953, together with his father Sultan Mohammed V. They were transferred to Madagascar in January 1954. Prince Moulay Hassan acted as his father's political advisor during the exile. Mohammed V and his family returned from exile on 16 November 1955.

Corsica territorial collectivity of France

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, with the nearest land mass being the Italian island of Sardinia to the immediate south. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island.

Mohammed V of Morocco King of Morocco

Mohammad Al-Khamis Ben Youssef Ben Mohammed Al-Alaoui, known as Mohammed V, was Sultan of Morocco from 1927 to 1953; he was recognized as Sultan again upon his return from exile in 1955, and as King from 1957 to 1961. His full name was Sidi Mohammed ben Yusef, or Son of (Sultan) Yusef, upon whose death he succeeded to the throne. He was a member of the Alaouite dynasty.

Madagascar Island nation off the coast of Southeast Africa, in the Indian Ocean

Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar, and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. At 592,800 square kilometres (228,900 sq mi) Madagascar is the world's 2nd largest island country. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.

Prince Moulay Hassan participated in the February 1956 negotiations for Morocco's independence with his father, who later appointed him Chief of Staff of the newly founded Royal Armed Forces in April 1956. In the unrest of the same year, he led army contingents battling rebels in the mountains of the Rif. Mohammed V changed the title of the Moroccan sovereign from Sultan to King in 1957. Hassan was proclaimed Crown Prince on 19 July 1957, and became King on 26 February 1961, after his father's death.

Rif Mountain range in Morocco

The Rif or Riff is a mainly mountainous cultural region in the northern part of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Sultan noble title with several historical meanings

Sultan is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", derived from the verbal noun سلطة sulṭah, meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who claimed almost full sovereignty in practical terms, albeit without claiming the overall caliphate, or to refer to a powerful governor of a province within the caliphate. The adjective form of the word is "sultanic", and the dynasty and lands ruled by a sultan are referred to as a sultanate.

Rule

Hassan's rule, one characterized by a poor human rights record that was labelled as "appalling" and perhaps one of the worst in Africa and the world, [4] strengthened the Alaouite dynasty. In Morocco's first constitution of 1963, Hassan II reaffirmed Morocco's choice of a multi-party political system, the only one in the Maghreb at that time. The constitution gave the King large powers he eventually used to strengthen his rule, which provoked strong political protest from the UNFP and the Istiqlal parties that formed the backbone of the opposition. [5]

Alaouite dynasty dynasty

The Alaouite dynasty, or Alawite dynasty, is the current Moroccan royal family. Sharif ibn Ali became Prince of Tafilalt in 1631. His son Mulay Al-Rashid (1664–1672) was able to unite and pacify the country.

A multi-party system is a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national election, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition. Apart from one-party-dominant and two-party systems, multi-party systems tend to be more common in parliamentary systems than presidential systems and far more common in countries that use proportional representation compared to countries that use first-past-the-post elections. Several parties compete for power and all of them, have reasonable chance of forming government.

Istiqlal Party political party in Morocco

The Istiqlal or Independence Party is a political party in Morocco. It is a conservative and monarchist party and a member of the Centrist Democrat International and International Democrat Union. Istiqlal headed a coalition government under Abbas El Fassi from 19 September 2007 to 29 November 2011. Since 2013, it has been the official opposition.

In June 1965, Hassan suspended the constitution of 1962, dissolved the Parliament, declared a state of emergency, and ruled directly, although he did not completely abolish the mechanisms of parliamentary democracy. [6] When elections were eventually held, they were mostly rigged in favour of loyal parties. This caused severe discontent among the opposition, and protest demonstrations and riots challenged the King's rule. A US report observed that "Hassan appears obsessed with the preservation of his power rather than with its application toward the resolution of Morocco's multiplying domestic problems." [7]

Parliamentary system form of government

A parliamentary system or parliamentary democracy is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislature, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a person distinct from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, where the head of state often is also the head of government and, most importantly, the executive does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

Many militants of the National Union of Popular Forces were imprisoned and some party leaders sentenced to death. Student protests that took place March 21, 1965 in Casablanca, and devolved into general riots the following day; their violent repression caused many casualties. In the aftermath, on March 26, Hassan II gave a speech that he concluded with: "There is no greater danger to a country than a so-called intellectual; it would have been better if you had all been illiterate." [8] [9]

In October 1965, Mehdi Ben Barka was kidnapped in Paris and secretly murdered. [3]

King Hassan II, on his way to Friday prayers in Marrakesh, 1967. Hassan II, Marrakech, 1966.jpg
King Hassan II, on his way to Friday prayers in Marrakesh, 1967.

In the early 1970s, King Hassan survived two assassination attempts. The first, on July 10, 1971, was a coup d'état attempt allegedly supported by Libya, organized by General Mohamed Medbouh and Colonel M'hamed Ababou and carried out by cadets during a diplomatic function at the King's summer palace in Rabat during his forty-second birthday party [10] . Important guests, including the Belgian Ambassador Marcel Dupert, were placed under house arrest, and the King himself was taken to a small pavilion.

Rabat's main radio station was taken over by the rebels and broadcast propaganda stating that the King had been murdered and a republic founded. The coup ended the same day when royalist troops took over the palace in combat against the rebels. It was subsequently claimed by the Moroccan authorities that the young cadets had been misled by senior officers into thinking that they were acting to protect the king.

On 16 August 1972, during a second attempt, four F-5 military jets from the Royal Moroccan Air Force fired upon the King's Boeing 727 while he was travelling back to Rabat from France, many bullets hit the fuselage but they failed to bring the plane down [11] . Allegedly, the King himself hurried to the cockpit, took control of the radio and shouted: "Stop firing you fools, the Tyrant is dead!" Eight people were killed when the jets strafed the awaiting reception dignitaries. [12] General Mohamed Oufkir, Morocco's defense minister, was the man behind the coup and was officially declared to have committed suicide after the attack. His body, however, was found with several bullet wounds. [13]

In the Cold War era, Hassan II allied Morocco with the West generally, and with the United States in particular. There were close and continuing ties between Hassan II's government and the CIA, who helped to reorganize Morocco's security forces in 1960. [14] Hassan served as a back channel between the Arab world and Israel, facilitating early negotiations between them such as Operation Yachin to secretly migrate Moroccan Jews to Israel. [15] [16]

According to Shlomo Gazit of Israeli intelligence, Hassan II invited Mossad and Shin Bet agents to bug the Casablanca hotel where the Arab League Summit of September 1965 would be held to record the conversations of the Arab leaders. [17] This information was instrumental in Israel's victory in the Six-Day War. According to Ronen Bergman, Mossad then supplied information leading to Mehdi Ben Barka's capture and assassination in October. [18]

During Hassan II's reign, Morocco recovered the Spanish-controlled area of Ifni in 1969, and militarily seized two thirds of Spanish Sahara through the "Green March" in 1975. The latter issue continues to dominate Moroccan foreign policy to this day. Relations with Algeria have deteriorated sharply due to the Western Sahara affair, as well as due to Moroccan claims on Algerian territory (Tindouf and Bechar), which unleashed the brief 1963 Sand War. Relations with Mauritania were tense too, as Morocco only recognized it as a sovereign country in 1969, nearly a decade after Mauritania's independence, because of Moroccan claims on the country (see Great Morocco). In 1985, Hassan II suspends Morocco's membership of the Organization of African Unity and enters into conflict with Burkinabe President Thomas Sankara because of his decision to recognize the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Economically, Hassan II adopted a market-based economy, where agriculture, tourism, and phosphates mining industries played a major role. On March 3, 1973, Hassan II announced the policy of Moroccanization, in which state-held assets, agricultural lands, and businesses that were more than 50 percent foreign-owned—and especially French-owned—were transferred to political loyalists and high-ranking military officers. [19] [20] The Moroccanization of the economy affected thousands of businesses and the proportion of industrial businesses in Morocco that were Moroccan-owned immediately increased from 18% to 55%. [19] 2/3 of the wealth of the Moroccanized economy was concentrated in 36 Moroccan families. [19]

Morocco's human rights record was extremely poor during the period from the 1960s to the late 1980s, which was labelled as the "years of lead" [21] [22] and saw thousands of dissidents jailed, killed, exiled or forcibly disappeared. During this time, Morocco was one of the most repressive and undemocratic nations in the world. However, Morocco has been labelled as "partly free" by Freedom House, except in 1992 and 2014 when the country was labelled "Not free" in those years respectively. The country would only become more democratic by the early 1990s amid strong international pressure and condemnation over the nation's human rights record. Due to the strong rebuke from other nations and human rights groups, and also because of the realistic threat of international isolation, Hassan II would then gradually democratize the nation over time. Since then, Morocco's human rights record has improved modestly, and improved significantly following the death of Hassan II.

King Hassan II had extended many parliamentary functions[ citation needed ] by the early 1990s and released hundreds of political prisoners in 1991, and allowed the Alternance, where the opposition assumed power, for the first time in the Arab World.[ citation needed ] He set up a Royal Council for Human Rights to look into allegations of abuse by the State.

Death

Hassan died of pneumonia and other health consequences in his birth town at the age of 70 on 23 July 1999. A national funeral service was held for him in Rabat, with over 40 heads of state in attendance. He was buried in the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. The coffin of Hassan II, carried by King Mohammed VI, his brother Prince Moulay Rachid and his cousin Moulay Hicham, was covered with a green fabric, in which the first prayer of Islam, "There is no god but God", is inscribed in golden writing. [23]

Honours and decorations

Royal styles of
King Hassan II of Morocco
Coat of arms of Morocco.svg
Reference style His Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty

National orders:

Foreign orders:

Family

King Hassan II had five children with his wife Lalla Latifa Hammou, a member of the Zayane tribe, whom he married in 1961:

The king had one other wife, Lalla Fatima bint Qaid Ould Hassan Amhourak (cousin of Latifa Hammou), whom he also married in 1961. They had no children.

The father of Hassan II was Mohammed V of Morocco and his mother was Lalla Abla bint Tahar. He had five sisters and one brother:

Publications

See also

  1. الدرر الفاخرة بمآثر الملوك العلويين بفاس الزاهرة
  2. "MOROCCO13". www.royalark.net. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  3. 1 2 "قضية المهدي بن بركة تعود للواجهة بقوة في المغرب بعد مرور نصف قرن على اختطافه". CNN Arabic (in Arabic). 30 October 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  4. "Morocco 'Facebook prince' pardon". BBC. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  5. Gleijeses, Piero (1996). "Cuba's First Venture in Africa: Algeria, 1961–1965". Journal of Latin American Studies . 28 (1): 159–195. doi:10.1017/s0022216x00012670. JSTOR   157991.
  6. Miller, Susan Gilson. (2013). A history of modern Morocco. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. xvii. ISBN   9781139624695. OCLC   855022840.
  7. Gleijeses, Piero (1996). "Cuba's First Venture in Africa: Algeria, 1961–1965". Journal of Latin American Studies . 28 (1): 159–195. doi:10.1017/s0022216x00012670. JSTOR   157991.
  8. Miller, Susan Gilson. (2013). A history of modern Morocco. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 169. ISBN   9781139624695. OCLC   855022840.
  9. Yabiladi.com. "23 مارس 1965..عندما تحولت شوارع الدار البيضاء إلى أنهار من الدماء". www.yabiladi.ma (in Arabic). Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  10. Gibson Miller, Susan (2013). A History of Modern Morocco. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 175. ISBN   978-0521008990.
  11. Gibson Miller, Susan (2013). A History of Modern Morocco. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 177. ISBN   978-0521008990.
  12. "Jets attack Moroccan King's plane", The Guardian , 17 August 1972
  13. Byrne, Jennifer (11 July 2001). "Interview with Malika Oufkir". Foreign Correspondent. ABC News (Australia). Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 5 August 2014.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  14. Victoria Brittain (2 July 2001). "Ben Barka killed with French help". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
  15. "هكذا وافقت السلطات المغربية على تهجير اليهود بين 1956 و1964". الأول (in Arabic). 6 June 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  16. Szulc, Tad (1991). The Secret Alliance: The Extraordinary Story of the Rescue of the Jews Since World War II. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. ISBN   978-0-374-24946-5.
  17. Surkes, Sue. "Morocco tipped off Israeli intelligence, 'helped Israel win Six Day War'". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  18. Bergman, Ronen (2018). Rise And Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations. Random House. pp. 86–94. ISBN   978-1-4000-6971-2.
  19. 1 2 3 Miller, Susan Gilson. (2013). A history of modern Morocco. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 184. ISBN   9781139624695. OCLC   855022840.
  20. "Marocanisation : Un système et des échecs". Aujourd'hui le Maroc (in French). Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  21. Hamilton, Richard (13 January 2007). "Laughter, freedom and religion in Morocco". BBC. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  22. George Joffé. "Morocco". Britannica. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
  23. Highbeam [ dead link ]
  24. "Accueil: activites_princieres". archive.is. 22 July 2011. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2018.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
Hassan II of Morocco
Born: 9 July 1929 Died: 23 July 1999
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mohammed V
King of Morocco
1961–1999
Succeeded by
Mohammed VI

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